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AS9100 vs ISO 9001- A Detailed Comparison

Quality procedures and results are of paramount importance in any organisation, especially in the defence, aviation and space industries. In that accord, AS9100 vs ISO 9001 is arguably one of the most interchangeably confused quality management standards. It is undoubtedly crucial in these industries owing to its colossal threats. With so many quality standards existing in the industry, it can sometimes be a little confusing due to the striking similarity in the protocol between these two. Having said that, AS9100 is definitely the winner-bringing audit in the picture. 

With many such management standards existing in the market, how does one know if the business is truly delivering commendable quality? It is, of course, by the quality certifications. ISO 9001 and AS 9100, with notable similarities, are the most common industry standards and have distinctive features.   

Table of Contents   

1) ISO 9001 and AS 9100- an overview 

2) Difference between iso 9001 and as9100 

    a) ISO standards 

    b) AS9100D standards 

    c) Lesser Risk 

    d) Inspection and Counterfeits 

    e) Manufacturing facilities 

    f) Organisational inclusivity clauses 

3) Conclusion 

ISO 9001 and AS 9100: An overview 

Let's examine these two management criteria closely and what each one means: 

ISO 9001  

Organisations standardise their capacity to prove their production value and regulatory requirements. ISO 9001 is one such well-known international standard catering to Quality Management Systems (QMS). It can be certified by any organisation regardless of size or its range of activities. Therefore, more than one million organisations spanning 160 countries harness this framework for their organisation processes and efficiency. 

AS 9100 

Due to its distinct set of constraints, the aircraft industry, in particular, demands quality management to a larger extent. This management standard is used by companies that create products for the aviation, defence, or space industries. To maintain the legitimacy of this accreditation, specific audits are carried out.    

Master ISO 9001 quality management principles, drive continuous improvement, and achieve operational excellence with our comprehensive ISO 9001 training. 

Difference between ISO 9001 and AS 9100 

Examining one’s quality standards helps one to elevate operations, technology and management. ISO 9001 is completely adopted by AS 9100 with similar clauses, however, with its own distinctive focus on the stakeholders. 

ISO standards 

ISO 9001 doesn’t exclusively emphasise on ‘quality’ but rather proposes refinement by introspecting various delivery methodologies. These standards are based on seven quality attributes.   

1) Customer’s preferences: Identifying customers’ needs and measuring their choices, preferences and satisfaction. 

2) Quality Management: Quality is undoubtedly indispensable, and adheres to a high commitment to ensuring effective quality.   

3) Employee engagement: Training and engaging personnel irrespective of the management level. 

4) Clear process: Establishing simple processes to improve the quality of the deliverables.   

5) Progress: Demonstrating solid commitment to continuous progress and growth. 

6) Factual decisions: Actions performed based on reliable sources of data as prerequisites for decision-making, eliminating unambiguity. 

7) Stakeholders: Collaborating with stakeholders with the mutual objective of effective cost management and optimisation.   

AS9100 standards  

While the above-mentioned principles do apply to AS9100 as a fundamental framework, below is the list of additional requirements for AS9100: 

1) Production: Verifying and altering various production equipment and processes.  

2) Project evaluation: Controlling workflow in terms of project and risk assessment. Facilitating a good flow of work to external stakeholders.   

3) Design: Verifying and documenting different product designs and testing them for efficiency.  

4) Special requirements: Assessing the products and measuring the process, including counter remedies to set the right actions for the stakeholders. 

AS9100 is a specific framework for the aerospace industry, while ISO 9001 is a quality management standard applicable to multiple industries. With that being said, AS9100 is well-rounded and caters to solid quality management and product safety in the aerospace industry. AS9100 is arguably more reliable as it has multiple audits in comparison to ISO 9001. However, both standards do uphold a commendable degree of quality and constant upgradation.   

Lesser Risk 

Risk is inevitable in businesses due to the constant uncertainty that revolves around the business climate. But what about the risk that constitutes the very life? Life and death concern is worth scrutinising from a business standpoint, especially in the aerospace and defence industries. While the encapsulation is the same for both, AS9100 certainly adds more to it by assessing risk management.   

Inspection and Counterfeits 

There is an added advantage of AS9100 in terms of information verification and testing. This adheres to the risk element associated with the aerospace and defence industry pertaining to scrapped or recycled products, aka counterfeit parts. ISO 9001 adheres to test reports and quality checks from external sources. At the same time, AS9100 demands verified information from the manufacturers through their inspection and audits.   

Manufacturing facilities 

ISO 9001 lays down generic guidelines pertaining to storage and inspection. On the other hand, AS9100 is very specific. This evidently makes AS9100 more user-friendly with clear-cut storage protocols as it has agenda for maintenance and inspection.

ISO 9001 Training

Organisational inclusivity clauses 

AS9100 has well-drafted responsibility clauses with extended management access to everyone in terms of quality management. There is sharp attention drawn to the specificity of requirements, items, and characteristics in AS9100, which is not exhibited in ISO 9001. 


Overall, compared to ISO 9001, the AS9100 standard is more thorough and tailored to the aerospace sector. Both standards, however, place a strong emphasis on quality control and ongoing development. Businesses can show their dedication to delivering high-quality goods and services by complying with the requirements of standard. 

Equip yourself with risk assessment, opportunities, operations and lead auditor’s ISO compliance. Register for ISO 9001 Lead Auditor Course today! 

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